Lecture 1: Introduction. SIF8072 Distributed Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents. http://www.idi.ntnu.no/~agent/. Lecturer: Sobah Abbas Petersen Email: [email protected] Lecture Outline. Practical Information Definition of an Agent
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Web-page – http://www.idi.ntnu.no/~agent/
Lectures: Thursdays, 15:00-17:00, room R4
Web-page – http://www.idi.ntnu.no/~agent/lectures/
Exercises: Mondays, 17:00-19:00, room R4
Web-page – http://www.idi.ntnu.no/~agent/exercises/
Written Exam: Wednesday, 14th May
Web-page – http://www.idi.ntnu.no/~agent/exam/ (past exam papers)
available from TAPIR, price: NOK 375
Exercises and Project:
4 mandatory exercises and 1 mandatory project
Questions regarding Exercises and Project:
Teaching Assistant: Peep Kungas
Email: [email protected]
”When a space probe makes its long flight from Earth to outer planets, a ground crew is usually required to continue to track its progress and decide how to deal with unexpected eventualities. This is costly and, if decisions are required quickly, it is simply not practical. For these reasons, organisations like NASA are seriously investigating the possibility of making the probes more autonomous – giving them richer decision making capabilities and responsibilities.”
”Searching the Internet for the answer to a specific query can be a long and tedious process. So, why not allow a computer program – an agent – do searches for us? The agent would typically be given a query that would require synthesizing information from various different internet information sources.”
”After a wet and cold winter, you are in need of a last minute holiday somewhere warm. After specifying your requirements to your Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), it converses with a number of different web sites which sell services such as flights and hotel rooms. After hard negotiation on your behalf with a range of sites, your PDA presents you with a package holiday.”
There are many definitions of agents – often too narrow or too general.
American Heritage Dictionary:
”... One that acts or has the power or authority to act ... or represent another”
Russel and Norvig:
”An agent is anything that can be viewed as perceiving its environment through sensors and acting upon that environment through effectors.”
”Autonomous Agents are computational systems that inhabit some complex dynamic environment, sense and act autonomously in this environment, and by doing so realize a set of goals or tasks for which they are designed”.
”Intelligent agents are software entities that carry out some set of operationson behalf of a user or another program with some degree of independence or autonomy, and in doing so, employ some knowledge or representations of the user’s goals or desires”.
Objects do it for free…
Reference: B. Moulin, B. Chaib-draa. ”An Overview of Distributed
Artificial Intelligence”. In: G. M. P. O'Hare, N. R. Jennings (eds).
Foundations of Distributed Artificial Intelligence, John Wiley & Sons, 1996, pp. 3-56.
EnvironmentMulti-agent Systems (MAS)
Contains a number of agents which interact with one another through communication. The agents are able to act in an environment; where each agent will act upon or influence different parts of the environment. Reference: Wooldridge, An Introduction to Multiagent Systems, p. 105
Nwana identified the following seven types of agents:
Some of these may not exhibit any agent properties as discussed earlier.
Will be based on:
”Multi-agent Interactions”, Chapter 6 in Wooldridge: ”Introduction to MultiAgent Systems”
FBI agents conducted a raid of a psychiatric hospital in San Diego that was under investigation for medical insurance fraud. After hours of reviewing thousands of medical records, the dozens of agents had worked up quite an appetite. The agent in charge of the investigation called a nearby pizza parlour with delivery service to order a quick dinner for his colleagues. The following telephone conversation took place and was recorded by the FBI because they were taping all conversations at the hospital.